Tips hat to best in class, innovation, social
responsibility and environmental leadership
AUSTIN, Texas (May 22, 2012) - Today, Whole Foods Market
announced the winners of its inaugural Supplier
Awards, spotlighting natural and organic vendors who
best embody the grocer's mission and core values.
Italian food exporter and expert, Agritalia, earned the
grocer's highest honor of TopSupplier of the
Year for outstanding all-around performance, including
commitment to quality, consistent customer service and
Awardees were chosen by Whole Foods Market global buyers
and experts who work side-by-side with the grocer's
national vendors to bring products to market. In addition
to the TopSupplier of the Year award, the
company recognized the cream-of-the-crop supplier partners
in nine other categories: Best in Class, Best
New Product, Cheese, Environmental, Quality Assurance,
Special Achievement, Innovation, Wine and the
company's ethical sourcing program, Whole
"At Whole Foods Market, we live and breathe our core
values, and one of those values is creating win-win
relationships with our suppliers. We're excited to
spotlight our outstanding vendors whose shared passion,
hard work and true partnership is helping us set the
industry gold standard - for quality, ethical sourcing,
environmental stewardship, and more," said Jim Speirs,
global vice-president of procurement, non-perishables.
"We launched these awards to honor partners who not only
exemplify our core values, but who also demonstrate true
commitment to growing with Whole Foods Market," said Edmund
LaMacchia, global vice-president of procurement,
perishables. "We're always challenging our suppliers to
deliver superior quality products. Their eagerness to
innovate makes these suppliers true partners in defining
Whole Foods Market's mission. We are proud to celebrate
All Supplier Award winners were announced at this evening's
awards dinner in Austin, Texas at the Stephen F. Austin
Hotel. About the winners:
Top Supplier of the Year:
for best overall performance, including superior product
quality, consistent delivery and leadership in the
Best in Class:
Garden of Life
(Non-Perishable) - for consistently launching
products with a "Whole Foods Market first" strategy, for
strong training support, and for joining Whole Planet
Foundation's Supplier Alliance for Microcredit.
(Perishable) - for delivering premium quality
seafood from boat to store in record time, and for
pioneering Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification
for pink shrimp.
Best New Product:
Farmstead- for strongest alignment with
Whole Foods Market's mission, including green practices
like water conservation and achieving negative carbon
status through the use of bio-digesters to power
production facilities and 300 surrounding homes.
Homeopathic (Non-Perishable) - for
environmental stewardship on all levels of business -
from green packaging and waste recovery efforts to land
Fisheries (Perishables) - for reviving the
Nova Scotia sword fishery and helping local harpoon
fishermen bring the industry's first MSC-certified sword
fish to Whole Foods Market.
Products, Stremicks Heritage Foods (Non-Perishables)
- for creating a line of organic nondairy beverages that
not only exceeds Whole Foods Market's strict Quality
Standards, but helps meet consumers' growing demand at
great value prices.
Farms (Perishables)- for becoming the first
Florida farm to sign with the Coalition of Immokolee
Workers (CIW), an organization supporting increased
rights and pay for Florida farm workers.
FGF Brands, Inc.
(Non-Perishables) - for upholding thorough, third-party
verified quality and process control programs to help
meet and exceed shoppers' expectations.
Global, Inc. (Perishables) - for playing a
crucial role in the launch and continued success of GAP's
5-Step program at Whole Foods Market.
Valley/CROPP Cooperative (Non-Perishables) -
for providing Whole Foods Market with a steady organic
milk supply during the 2011 industry-wide shortage, while
upholding ethical sourcing and sustainable farming
Durst Organic Growers/Organic Harvest Network
(Perishables) - for implementing farming techniques that
boost soil fertility and balance wildlife and insect
ecology - all creating soil that sprouts exceptional
Whole Trade® Guaranteeethical sourcing:
Chocolate (Non-Perishables)- for not only
supporting ethical sourcing through the Whole Trade
program, but for creating high quality products that are
sparking consumer demand for ethically-sourced cocoa.
The Elite Flower (Perishables) - for strong
commitment to workers, environment and community in
Facatativa, Colombia. Through Whole Trade, Elite is now
supporting education for more than 300 local children and
adults, programs for more than 500 adolescent women and
housing opportunities for more than 50 families.
The Wine Group
- for delivering diverse, complex and high
quality varietal wines at great value prices, and for
offering shoppers a new, lightweight bottle that lowers
waste without raising costs.